Primate Husbandry Workshop

Two zookeepers from Utah’s Hogle Zoo are planning to speak to Primate caregivers around the world in an attempt to increase knowledge of Primate husbandry and hopefully improving conservation efforts.

Their best success to date, was a mother-daughter Orangutan reunion: Mother Eve gave birth to daughter Acara in captivity, and with immediate problems having been orphaned herself when she was young, had no idea what having a baby entailed, how to be a mother, or even that she was pregnant! Mother Eve gave birth by cesarean, but had no natural instincts and baby Acara had to be taught the simplest of things such as how to cling to Eve for safety and transportation. Eve has become more comfortable with Acara now, which has allowed her to learn essential skills, ensuring she has successful future pregnancies.

Workshops like this maybe essential in the push to increase wild Primate populations, as birth cycles for Orangutans are relatively long, up to 8 years – much like most other Primates, so successful pregnancies are imperative. It is also a good way to break free of hand-rearing, as although this will in most cases ensure survival, it will prevent release into the wild as individuals become too tame and domesticated, and lose their natural survival skills and instincts.

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One Response

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